Section 10 – Authorisation to act
31.Authorisation is the second stage of the process. Having been approved by the Scottish Ministers as an approved regulator, the body may not exercise any of its regulatory functions unless authorised so to do by the Scottish Ministers (subsection (1)). The section also makes provision in relation to the restrictions and conditions that may be placed on authorisation.
32.Subsection (2) provides that the Scottish Ministers can only give their authorisation if they are satisfied or continue to be satisfied as to the matters mentioned in section 7(1) and that it continues to meet any criteria provided for in regulations made under section 7(5)(b).
33.Authorisation may be with or without conditions, may be subject to a time limitation and may also be restricted to particular types of legal services or legal service provider. A restriction in relation to a particular type of legal services may be appropriate where an approved regulator has expertise in a specialised area. One example is a body which regulates accountants which might seek to regulate mixed practices of accountants and lawyers, but not other forms of multi-disciplinary practice. The Scottish Ministers may vary by addition or deletion any restrictions and conditions following consultation with the approved regulator.
34.The Scottish Ministers have the power to make regulations regarding the authorisation process. This power could be used to set out the process for authorisation in more detail, and to address any issues which arise with regard to the criteria used.